Ahead of her workshop in Create Festival’s Alumni Week, Photography graduate Laura Parkinson talks more about her Salford experience
Q: What have you been up to since graduating?
A: I graduated from Salford in July 2015, and since then I’ve progressed onto a PGCE in Further Education and Training. I’ve just secured myself a teaching role for September 2016, when I’ll be working with secondary and sixth form students teaching Digital Photography and Art and Design. I’ve also been working as a freelance fashion photographer, collaborating with other creatives to produce work for international magazines.
Q: How has your degree helped you to progress?
A: My degree provided me with the skills I needed to progress onto further study: it allowed me to improve my academic writing, and that helped me to achieve a master’s qualification. The combination of creative photographic projects and academic writing assignments allowed me to be artistic, while equipping me with good English skills. The technical staff on the course were amazing, and they taught me how to work with studio lighting and models.
Q: What did your student experience teach you?
A: I learned to take every opportunity I was offered and commit 100% to everything I do. I also learned to value my friendships. I left Salford with a great bunch of friends, and without their support in my final year I wouldn’t be the photographer I am today.
Q: What advice would you give current students?
A: The biggest piece of advice I’d give to any student no matter what level they’re at, is keep on top of your workload. There is nothing worse than realising two days before a deadline that you’ve got a 5000-word dissertation to complete, as well as four series of photographs and a load of blog work. The work you put in over the three years really does show at the end of your degree, and you will feel so much pride when you receive your degree certificate in your hand.
Q: What advice do you have for students once they’ve left University?
A: Don’t fall at the first hurdle. I applied for a few teaching positions and photography jobs and had several knock backs. There were often days when I felt I wasn’t talented or clever enough, but I learned that adult life and the creative world can be tough, and you should never give up on your dream job. Now that I’ve secured a teaching position and have had my photography work published, I know that the time I spent labouring over job applications was worth it; and the same will be true when you land your dream position, trust me!
You can hear more from Laura in the Alumni Success Stories event at Create Salford. She’ll be speaking from 13:00 on Monday 25th April, in rooms 3.10/3.11 at MediaCityUK.
You can see more of Laura’s work at www.laurajaneparkinson.com